Under construction

Become a Tent of Light

Men and women, you are under construction. The architect of your existence made you to be a solid example of the character of Jesus. But, it takes effort and a carpenters tools to break through the character defects. Hammers, nails, drills, whatever is needed.

My hammer occurred this morning as I read Proverbs 14, the words of truth practically bounced off the page. I was given a personal lesson in the life of a women. It is hard work in the building up of faith and tearing down of my character flaws.

The choices I make can bring foolish or rewarding results.
The impulse of my heart ( by the way the heart can be deceitful) can lean to the fool at times especially when hangry, insomniac, or misunderstood. Brain fog, hunger, and grumbling I can take the bait in communication and bark sometimes. Can you relate?

Words and impulsive reactions matter to God and they should matter to me. Foolish responses effect all relationships. It starts at home in our inner circle of influence. It can be your friend, coworker, family group, or even the places where you find joy such as the gym, with music or sipping coffee with a friend.

Proverbs 14:1
1. The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.
2
Whoever fears the Lord walks uprightly,
but those who despise him are devious in their ways.
3
A fool’s mouth lashes out with pride,
but the lips of the wise protect them.
4
Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty,
but from the strength of an ox come abundant harvests.
5
An honest witness does not deceive,
but a false witness pours out lies.
6
The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none,
but knowledge comes easily to the discerning.
7
Stay away from a fool,
for you will not find knowledge on their lips.
8
The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways,
but the folly of fools is deception.
9
Fools mock at making amends for sin,
but goodwill is found among the upright.
10
Each heart knows its own bitterness,
and no one else can share its joy.
11
The house of the wicked will be destroyed,
but the tent of the upright will flourish.

Reading this chapter in Proverbs, I pondered the scriptures as if I was looking at the face of Jesus, His image reflecting love and a need for some hammer and nails with a little mortar for my cracks.

I am under construction, we all are under construction. He wants to build in us a solid foundation. The rocks and bricks need to be in His wisdom and we must let Him put the pieces together. Yes, there may be cracks in the dry places but He wants me/us to trust He will patch the breaks and provide living water when we get parched in this dry weary land. Progress not perfection my fellow women and men!

Consider these questions for yourself ( women and men):
Do I build my house with wisdom or tear down those in my home?
Do I understand fear of the Lord is reverence to His instruction and refusal to live otherwise?
Do I lash out in pride using my words without thinking?
Am I an honest example even if it is hard, or do I find ways to speak little white lies to keep peace?
Do I think carefully before I speak or assume everyone must hear my opinion?
Do I make amends when I sin or hurt others ask forgiveness?

We all can think bitter, nasty thoughts, pessimistic attitudes pollute our minds and cause our joy to be snuffed out like the Light of our witness.

What can we do to build a strong foundation? We must be willing to look honestly at ourselves. Then, ask Jesus to help us break down the rough spots. We have the potential we need the Master Carpenter to guide us. He believes in our potential. One step at a time. Progress for your best future and if there are setbacks reboot just try again. God/ Jesus will not leave you when you sincerely ask for His help.

Matthew 5: 14 – 16
14
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

We want to have a tent of Light, His Light, filled to abundance. We want to help others to see daily life is hard but not impossible when We choose to walk with wisdom. When I seek to choose the better path, the life of those whose paths We cross can be effected for the Kingdom in more hope, love, mercy and grace.

Eagles

Photo by Frank Cone on Pexels.com

Eagles are majestic, powerful, grace-filled examples of the Creator God. I have always been fascinated by these birds. I live in the Rocky Mountain region and am occasionally blessed to see eagles soar.

There are scriptures that describe their attributes as protector, safety under her wings, and as an example of renewed youth and energy.

Deuteronomy 32:11
Like an eagle that rouses’ her chicks and hovers over her young, so he spread his wings to take them up and carried them safely on his pinions.

Exodus 19: 1- 6 19 On the first day of the third month after the Israelites left Egypt—on that very day—they came to the Desert of Sinai. 2 After they set out from Rephidim, they entered the Desert of Sinai, and Israel camped there in the desert in front of the mountain.
3 Then Moses went up to God, andp the Lord called to him from the mountain and said, “This is what you are to say to the descendants of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: 4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6 you[a] will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”

Psalm 103: 5 He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagles.

Interesting facts from all about birds.org the Cornell lab:

Immature Bald Eagles spend the first four years of their lives in nomadic exploration of vast territories and can fly hundreds of miles per day. Some young birds from Florida have wandered north as far as Michigan, and birds from California have reached Alaska.

Had Benjamin Franklin prevailed, the U.S. emblem might have been Wild Turkey. In 1784, Franklin disparaged the national bird’s thieving tendencies and its vulnerability to harassment by small birds. “For my own part,” he wrote, “I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. … Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District.”

Lamentations 4:19 describes the enemies as swift and wise to find the Lord’s people or to cover over God’s people in a negative way.

Habakkuk 1:8 described the enemies of God as eagles that swoop down to devour their prey. Powerful !

Even though Ben Franklin describes the Eagle as a bird of bad moral character since it can be an opportunist when it comes to food, a eagle is powerful. It soars to amazing heights; 10,000 feet, and dives at a speed of 100 miles per hour. They are loyal; they mate for life, are providers for their eaglets, and tenacious. I’m relieved our nations symbol was not a wild Turkey, aren’t you?

According to Kristin Stanton of UniGuide.com, an Eagle symbolizes Loyalty, devotion, freedom, independence, truth, honor,the Divine, and Hope.

The Eagle reminds me that with God I can soar to amazing heights, I can live in the Power of truth and I can live in freedom with my Savior.

Isaiah 40:31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength, they will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

Salmon Endurance

Do you ever feel like a salmon swimming against the river current? You are in the living water, it provides a vehicle to allow your movement to a different place. Yet the boulders and tree branches that are scattered in the river provide the potential for detours, fits and stops.

You are using all your energy to stay in motion. Your body burns the calories, especially if your favorite stress reliever chocolate. Yum!! Yet the sugar in chocolate is still not enough to keep you moving.

If you remember your Biology class, once your simple sugars ( carbohydrates) are drained, your blood sugar drops and your body seeks another source of energy, such as fats and proteins. If you are endowed with an extra muffin top in your midsection, it may be a good thing to feel that fat waste away. If you are not endowed with extra insulating fat, your muscles can loose the protein energy and as a result, you tire and muscle can waste away. No Bueno!!!

Its the building blocks of proteins such as meats, nuts and such that provide the best energy source. You see, those food products can be used and last longer than carbs.

We need energy to endure in life. We must seek approval of God over man to endure. We must swim with endurance the river journey of faith.

Galatians 1:10 NLT
Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.

❤️

The time we spend getting to know Jesus and filling up on His Word is like the protein stores. There are more energy bursts to grab from as you work through your day.

If you add additional stress, trials, illness, or trauma, you are drained like a salmon swimming upstream. One obstacle after another works against you.

You must dig deep into the words from scripture that can pop into your mind. This will only happen if you have been mediating on God’s wisdom. It can come to the surface of your mind energizing you and providing a place to turn to God over the river currents.

Philippians 1:6 NLT. And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

Rest in Him

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Whatever you may be going through, do not loose hope. Rest in Him. We don’t know the future, but if we are willing we can get to know the Creator God who knows the plans He has.

Fear comes from the enemy, Satan, He wants to keep us trembling, anxious, fearful, and hopeless. But God calls us to Trust in Him. It’s called faith over fear!

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Read in your Bible, Matthew chapter 6, it is full of instructions for life. If you don’t have a Bible go online to biblegateway.com. Just place the name Matthew 6 in the keyword search and open your mind to God’s wisdom.

Matthew 6:33 But seek first the Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Having faith in hard, challenging times is not easy? But it is necessary. Where do you put your faith? Is it in another person, another circumstance, an idol such as materialism, your bank account, from the words of others, alcohol or drugs, or any other distraction?

The world is full of distractions that can not bring peace but more stress and fears. Reaching for more of Jesus can really change your life. He knows all about you. He waits.

Only Jesus can fill the empty spaces of our heart, mind, and soul. He is the filler of unconditional love. He can be trusted.

Take a deep breath slow and easy. Do you feel it? He is breathing life in you as He did Adam and Eve. I have shared this promise from scripture before, it is a great reminder daily for me and maybe for you.

God is for us. I will say it again,He breathes His breath of life into us.

Enjoy this praise moment from an awesome song, Rest in Us, by Maverick City Music x Upperroom. I hope it flows over you like only the Holy Spirit ( God) can. Feel a moment of His Presence.

Take a step of faith. There is nothing to loose and much to gain. Even If you fail, God will pick you up. We have to reach out our heart, mind, soul and reach for His. He will direct you.

We have to take steps of faith. Be willing to be works in progress. Let Him lift up your chin. He loves you. Rest in Him.

Thank you Lord

Thank you Lord for your gifts, for Your provision, Hebrew name : Jehovah Jireh ( God as Provider).

Thank you for your love, Jehovah Nissi ( Hebrew words mean His Banner over You is Love).

Thank you Lord Jehovah Shalom ( Hebrew name: God of Peace)!!!

Praise the Lord’s Name. What a great song from Chris Tomlin, Thomas Rhett and Florida Georgia Line!!!!

I would be surprised if you didn’t feel led to tap to the beat, or even get up and dance. We must Find Joy. Praise helps us take our eyes off challenges in life. Thank you Lord!

It Takes Work

Sunrise on the plains by MM

1 Corinthians 15:58 NLT
So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

Webster’s definition of work: to exert one’s self for a purpose; to put forth effort for the attainment of an object; to labor; to be engagaed in a performance or task.

We cannot be rewarded without working toward a goal. We need to pay bills to eat, pay rent, enjoy life these are gifts of our labor.

Exodus 5:18 Go, therefore now and work for there will be no straw given you.

Another definition of work: to be effective; to have influence. We can be an influencer using our words and actions for good things or in impulse for poor examples.

Romans 8:28 We know all things work together for good to them that love God.

When I think of work, I think of energy spent for a cause. It can be physical; use of muscles, emotional; as when someone does the work of recovery such as in grief, addiction or mental health, or it can be spiritual; as in working through our faith as a child of God, gaining perspective of Jesus.

All types of work require determination, energy drain and a desire for new perspective. We all are born with purpose. Each of us are created uniquely to use our lives for good things in our sphere of influence.

Life may try to chip away our purpose by things done to us, by our own choices, or just plain circumstances beyond our control. We must stand up, push away the garbage of lies, step away from people who block our purpose and believe that the Lord has better connections (if we are patient) on the horizon.

We must work to discover our purpose, however, we can ask Jesus to show us His plan and then together we can carry the load. We must ask Jesus into our lives. We do not have to go it alone.

The Lord has given us a path to take that isn’t about work, it is about accepting the free gift of Jesus. It is our free choice to take the gift of love, grace, mercy, and eternal connection with Him. Jesus died on the cross for all His children to provide a way for our forever connection to God. It is not a forced relationship, it is our choice.

Open your hand, open your heart and let your soul connect to Him ( Jesus) today. Accept the free gift and let Him guide the labor and connections of your life. He wants to help you carry the burdens. All you have to do is ask Him. Jesus said in the book of Matthew to people who were seeking answers:

Matthew 11: 28 – 30 ” Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

I did a eulogy at my Grandmothers funeral and this is the scripture I shared with my Irish family. I said, “Grandma is no longer struggling to breathe or with Dementia confusion, she is dancing through the Pearly Gates to Jesus.” My family needed to be reminded of the free gift, we all need to be reminded. 🙂

Do you want to decrease your burdens and heavy life load? Do you want the free gift? He promises to be with you if you ask. It takes action, a step of faith. It is between you and Jesus, it is a call to a relationship of love. If you are ready to open your heart it is amazing!!

Repeat after me: Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I want a new life with You. Please forgive my sins of __________________________________. I know You created me for a purpose. I repent ( turn away from the sins that blocked me from you). I believe that You are the Son of God and that You died for my sins. I want You to guide my life my life. Thank you for the free gift of love, grace, and mercy. I am a child of God. Amen.

Be in expectancy for a new sunrise; a new day is dawning. If you have prayed this prayer and honestly seek Jesus He is in your heart. Welcome to the family of God, I rejoice with you.

Letting Jesus guide your life is a daily action step. As humans, we can tend to want to take back control. I am grateful for Jesus. He understands our human conditions. Turn to Him and seek His wisdom. He can be trusted.

Next steps: Take time to discover, by opening the Bible, seek the wisdom of your Creator God. It takes forming a habit to make time daily to read and be instructed. Our ( sin patterns) habits can be hard to break but it will be worth the labor.

If you do not have a Bible, you can go online to the Bible gateway website: https://www.biblegateway.com/ or access the Bible through the to take further steps https://youversion.com/the-bible-app/ and access the Word of God.

Expect there to be interruptions when you try to make new habits seeking God. This isn’t about guilt if you miss a day. It is about restarting again. Jesus does not shame He wants a relationship of love. I have heard it said “habits can take 28 days”. You can be transformed to new beginnings or renewed commitments, new life.

The Book of John, found in the New Testament, of the Bible is a great place to start. As you learn about Jesus and his time with the disciples on earth, you will be moved by his love.

May you feel the love of Jesus today.

Run away Horse

Opie( Mr perfect Valentine), our free spirited palomino, had two adventures this month as a run away horse. Lessons in life were gained through this crazy country experience.

As we ( the hubby and I) took two days in 104 degree weather to harvest 235 hay bales, we became exhausted and sweaty. In the past our young adults were a part of our harvest team.

This year, our teen daughter was excited to drive the pickup as the ole parents grabbed the bales from the field and stacked them in the barn.

Opie, our 16 year old Palomino and his side kick, Loute, the brown and white goat tag teamed running through the back pasture.

I watched Opie nibble from the final rows of 40 different hay bales as he sauntered up the row. His eyes wandering to and fro. I distracted him by encouraging him to visit friends (fellow horses) in the back field. Temporarily my ruse worked. I went back to stacking hay on the trailer.

Suddenly, I looked behind me I yelled to my husband, “look out he’s making his way to the open gate”. My husband ran fast but Opie bolted whinnying happily as he snuck out the side gate to the street. I ran the opposite direction gathering halter and lead rope. I caught up with my husband breathing like a steaming tea pot, muttering and praying for safety.

Opie galloped to our neighbors gate trying to get into his friends’ pasture then reared and ran around the corner onto a busy country road. Loute, his buddy ran along with him, adding to the chaos as she made loud sounds, Loute, her German name fits perfect it means “loud”.

This crazy country comic relief reminds me it’s easy to be distracted by world or culture. Apparently the world outside the pasture was calling a rogue horse and goat to run!!!

Loute waddled alongside her buddy into trouble and all the way back to the corral and pasture. Her voice was louder than usual and obnoxious.

We must laugh at the craziness but stay the course. Find joy in the crazy! Life can be a sweaty hot mess. Don’t you agree?

Psalm 33:11 But the Lord’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken.  

Opie snuck out again three days ago, due to distractions of life, kids decisions, heat, hungry and tired, my husband left the gate to pasture open ;)!!!A stranger came to inform us by ringing our door bell, saying, “ do you have a palomino?” 😉 The kind man brought an apple, yet our stubborn horse knew mom and dad were coming with halter and lead rope to safely bring him back to his pasture, where sustenance, clear water, food and a fan was blowing away the summer heat. This is the place Opie could be refreshed and renewed.

 John 8:12 Jesus said to the people, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

As I was trying to catch my breath the second time, I pondered how much each of us are like a horse, we need a halter and our Wise Creator to hold the lead line. Just like his owners, Opie must let us keep him safe and alive :). We must be willing to be lead to good holy places. So blessed Jesus wants us to seek Him and He will guide us.

Only You

Wow!! What amazing, raw, heartfelt lyrics to this song, ” It’s Always Been You”, by Phil Wickham. Have you felt as though no one understands you? Or that your mistakes are too big to break free?

The enemy wants you to give up on being made new and walking with the only One who really knows who you are?

There is a purpose for your precious life. There is a Savior, His Name is Jesus. It is the Name above all other Names, He awaits your voice. Call out to Him! He sees all things, He died knowing every detour and mistake, every joy and circumstance, He wants a relationship with you.

He will not force you into anything. He is patient, loving, and full of mercy. He awaits your active pursuit. Run to Him and be changed.

Thank you Phil Wickham, for being real. It really is refreshing to see a guy be so vulnerable.

Jesus, It always has been You that we can count on, You are for us not against us.

Poppies

An addition to my “Weeds” post, our hard effort in digging up weeds can be rewarded. You see there are good things under the surface. Dirt and weeds need to be tended and a personal circumstance needs our attention. Good things are possible for those willing to do the work. We can lean into another, the One who created us.

Psalm 139::14 
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.

Jesus made you wonderfully and for a grand purpose. Maybe there are times when you don’t feel His love but He awaits your communication. Just as these beautiful poppies took time to form and explode into their orangy-red glory, every year they bless my garden with their brilliance. They needed water, soil adjustment and weed removal.

You are a beautiful poppy in the making. It is said that sometimes we have to call something what it is until we believe it for ourselves. Friend, You are a beautiful poppy may your face look up to the heavens. There is a God who made you marvelous. Call out to Him.

“Jesus, I am here, show me how to shine and help me to feel Your love”. All it takes is one step at a time.

Next time you see a poppy remember it is a little touch of heaven just like you.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.